Posts Tagged ‘review’

Preparing Yourself for Technical Writing

August 25, 2012

Most of the reader who have recently completed their education are preparing for their interviews. Probably some of them have not decided their career option till now. If you have ever came across Technical Writing profile, this article helps you to prepare for technical writing. Remember, once you choose this profile as career option, you have to write everyday something. To provide quality documents your writing style should be very good. Follow these guidelines to improve your writing skills.

  1. Write Everyday: As a technical writer you have to write a lot on different technologies. So, to improve your writing skills and develop good quality documents, you need to practice a lot. Write everyday something on a topic or about your daily routine. This gives you a chance to think quickly while writing.
  2. Read Something Everyday: Reading is also a technique to improve your writing skills. When you read an article or document, you learn different writing styles. Everyone have their own writing style and you can learn or pick some writing styles from those documents.
  3.  Proofread: During writing, sometimes you did not remember the basic guidelines of writing and commit the same mistakes. To overcome these mistakes proofread your document after completing scripting. Make it a habit to proofread your written documents, this improves your writing.
  4.  Update your writing skills: Check out the general guidelines of writing at a regular interval. Sometimes, writing style varies for different documents. Various writing tools are available in the market. Update yourself with these writing tools to make your writing effective.
  5.  Specialize in a domain: To enhance your market values try to write on a particular subject. Expertise yourself in a subject of your choice – ranging from a software to technology. This makes you expert in a specific field or technology. I had to write a lot on Adobe InDesign, and Dreamweaver.
  6.  Be Confident: Confidence gives you the power to face a problem. Be confident while asking or answering a question. Control your emotions, and try to show your confidence on your face. While interviewing, initially, you feel that subject matter experts (SME’s) are quite complex. But keep yourself updated with latest technologies, and learn how to ask questions. Make notes, and a list of questions to ask. You get expertise in the subject as time goes.

In this way, your writing skills will be improved which helps you to shape your career.

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Different Types of Writing

August 25, 2012

When we talk about writing, it can be of any kind. Type of writing can vary, depending on the style, motive or technology on which you are writing. In my technical writing career, I have done various kind of writing, and today I want to share my knowledge on different types of writing which are given here:

  1. Technical Writing: It refers to writing technical concepts, and ideas in an easy to understand method. Today cell phones, computers, televisions, and refrigerators become an essential part of our life. Thus, it is necessary to understand installing, and troubleshooting these gadgets. Technical Writing involves writing on these kinds of gadgets, and creating online help, user manuals, installation guides, reports and other technical documents.
  2. Content Writing: It refers to writing on various fields, such as business, technology, politics, market, and research. Generally, content writing deals with the contents prepared for web. Main objective of content writing is to understand the target audience, and prepare content that can catch their attention. Content writing also used to prepare the content on the basis of search engine optimization to achieve the top ranking on the search engines.
  3. Copy Writing: Copy writing refers to write the content for advertising and media to promote a product, a group, a company, or an idea. Aim of copy writing is to sell a product, service, or suggest your target audience to choose your business, or organization. Copy writing may also deals in creating proposals, whitepapers, newsletters, brochures, press release, and other promotional materials.
  4. Creative Writing: It covers a broad range and involves writing on different topics – fiction or non-fiction. Generally, creative writing includes writing short stories, poems, and novels. Main objective of creative writing is to look the world from a different perspective, and express your thoughts creatively.
  5. API Writing: This kind of writing deals with application programming interface. API is a source code interface provided to interact with applications. API writing involves writing for programmers or developers. API writing helps end users to learn about the API functions, their purposes, and parameters that are available in the application. In simple words, API writing tells you, what a function is supposed to do.
  6. Instructional Designing: Instructional designing deals with systematic development of learning objectives using instructional concepts and theories. Instruction design is used to make the learning as much interesting as possible. This kind of writing is widely used to prepare induction training programs.
  7. Journalism: Journalism refers to writing and reviewing, articles and news. Journalism is related to writing the content for print media like (newspaper, and magazines), and electronic media like (television, radio, and internet). Journalist reports and writes on a variety of topics which includes politics, business, market, health, education, sports, and relationships. Purpose of journalism is to educate, inform, and enlighten the reader.
  8. Editing or Reviewing: It deals with modifying a document, audio or video to meet the end user requirements. Editing and reviewing involves checking the document for consistency, grammatical correctness, and styles used to design the document. This process confirms that documentation or audio/video material is of good quality, and is ready to dispatch.

These are different types of writing used in the industry. Each type of writing requires hard work, focused mind, and a learning temperament.

Different Phases of Document Development Life Cycle

August 25, 2012

Technical documents play a major role in the success of software/product. These documents include user manuals, installation guides, and help pages. For good quality technical documents, DDLC must be followed while preparing these documents. Different phases of Document development life cycle are given here:

  • Requirement Analysis
  • Audience Analysis
  • Document Design (Outlining)
  • Development
  • Review
  • Publishing
  1. Requirement Analysis:- In this phase, technical writer understands the software requirement, and starts gathering information regarding the same. Technical writer explore the software, understand various features by working on it, and meet software developers to gather the valuable information. Once this phase is completed, all the queries related to software requirement must be resolved.
  2. Audience Analysis:-Technical document which needs to be prepared by technical writer are used by certain users. It must be clear to technical writer who will be the audience of these documents. Audience level is not same for a software, and may vary depending on their knowledge about the software. Audience can be categorized in two parts – novice audience, and experienced audience.

    Novice audiences are completely new to a software. They do not have any idea/knowledge of the software. On the other hand, experienced audience either have complete or a little knowledge of the software.

  3. Outlining the Document:- In this phase, outline of the document is prepared, which contains overall plan/structure of the document. Outlining is skeletal format of the document, and gives an idea of placing the elements. This skeletal information contains, introduction, table of contents, chapter/section information, and index. Outline gives the clear view of complete document at a glance.
  4. Development :- In this phase, actual development of the technical document is done. Technical writer explains all the contents that are collected, and planned in the outlining phase. Development phase require some extra time as complete drafting is done under this phase. Detailed table of content is also prepared with page numbers under this phase.
  5. Review:- Reviewing of documents include, checking the document for technical or grammatical errors. Testing review is done for measuring the quality of document for technical correctness while quality review is done by quality analyst to find grammatical mistakes.
  6. Publishing:- After completing testing and quality reviews, the document is ready to print. After completing all the previous phases, this phase relates actual delivery of the document to its target audiences.
Understanding the DDLC process helps in creating efficient, error-free, and quality documents.

How to improve your writing skills

August 25, 2012

Having good writing skills can be very useful at times. For aspiring writers, it will be an essential quality. Some people naturally have good writing skills, while others may lack it. If you ever feel that you can never gain good writing skills, you are totally wrong. Everyone can attain quality writing skills, if they try. Some helpful tips are given here, which helps you to improve your writing skills.

  1. Write: – Write something daily as it helps you to improve your writing skills. If you don’t practice, you would not gain anything. Writing is an art, and you have to keep on writing to brush-up your skills. But, if you are wondering on what to write about, not to worry as I can give you some ideas. You can write on an incident that happen to you earlier, or about anything interesting that caught your eye when you were walking on the street. But, if there is nothing interesting that happens to you while you were strolling, get creative, and think of anything to write. It does not matter what you write as long as you attempt to write something.
  2. Criticism: – Write on a topic of your choice and allow it to be read by a critic. If you always write, but never shows it to someone to read, and edit the article, you might not be able to spot the mistakes in that piece of writing. Once you write an article, proofread it, and check it for errors. Then got a critic (it would be great if the person is an experienced critic) to comment on your work. This would allow the person to give you feedback on your work, and at the same time, you can learn how good your standard of writing is. Even, if your first article gets a lot of criticism, do not lose heart. Take the experience as a learner, and remember not to make the similar mistakes again.
  3. Read: – Reading is another way to improve your writing skills. You could go to the library to search for books on writing. You can read the books of your favourite writer or subject to know about various kind of writing styles. These books contain essential steps of writing and help you to improve your writing skills. Apart from non-fiction books, you can also read fiction books of a wide range of categories. This will allow you to observe the styles of various authors.

Write something everyday, after sometime writing will become your habit. This way, you will be able to write almost every topic.